Romney Unicorn Update: Arizona official backs down & apologizes to state

Score one for operation unicorn!  And score one against the birthers (i.e., the nuts pushing the conspiracy theory that President Obama wasn’t actually born in America, even though it’s been proven again and again)

The Arizona official in charge of elections in that state has now backed off his absurd, birther-induced threat to keep President Obama off the ballot in November:

After days of ridicule for launching a conspiracy theory-fueled investigation into Barack Obama’s birth certificate, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett on Tuesday backed off his threat to keep the president off the ballot in November and apologized to his state.

“If I embarrassed the state, I apologize, but that certainly wasn’t my intent,” Bennett said in an interview with Phoenix radio station KTAR. “He’ll be on the ballot as long as he fills out the same paperwork and does the same things that everybody else has.”

For those not familiar with the story, Bennett issued the threat to keep Barack Obama off the ballot because of “questions” whether the president was born in America.  What provoked him to do so?  Sternly worded emails:

Bennett, the state’s No. 2 elected official just below Gov. Jan Brewer (R), said his investigation isn’t personal. He said the reason he started looking into it is because he got more than 1,200 emails asking him to do so. (source)

Well, over at Left Action, we decided that if 1,200 emails were enough to get the top state elections official to investigate a tinfoil-hat, bullshit conspiracy theory, we wanted to rally support to investigate a theory of our own:  That Mitt Romney was a unicorn.

There has never been a conclusive DNA test proving that Mitt Romney is not a unicorn.  We have never seen him without his hair — hair that could be covering up a horn

No, we cannot prove it.  But we cannot prove that it is not the case.  And if Mitt Romney is or may be a unicorn, he is not Constitutionally qualified to be president.

Well, we got more than 1,200.  We got 17,000.  And that provoked a whole heap of well-earned ridicule for Bennett, including this gem from Talking Points Memo:

At least one progressive online network, Left Action, took up the cause this week under the theory that if 1,200 emails can convince Bennett to investigate one conspiracy theory, maybe they can cobble together enough support to get him to investigate anything.

As of Tuesday afternoon some 15,000 people and counting had already put their names on Left Action’s online petition asking Bennett to investigate whether Mitt Romney is really a unicorn. (Yes, a unicorn. The petition even has its own domain name: That’s more than 10 times the number of people who asked Bennett to investigate the president in the first place.

While Roberts [Bennett’s spokesman] said he hadn’t seen the unicorn petition, he’s heard about it through a litany of nasty emails in recent days.

“We have received emails containing that request,” he said, “usually followed by some colorful language suggesting things I don’t think I can physically perform.”

The next day, Bennett reversed himself.

Never underestimate the power of well directed satire — especially when your opponent’s position is so asinine as to come with its own satire built right in.

(p.s. – this won’t be the last of “operation unicorn.” If birther stupidity arises again, we’ll be standing by, ready to throw our “horn” into the ring)

(p.p.s. – what the heck, we’ve now put up a Facebook page for the unicorn effort)


About John Hlinko

John Hlinko is a frequent political pundit on TV, and the founder of Left Action, a network of over 1 million activists. He is also the author of, "Share, Retweet, Repeat: Get Your Message Read and Spread," ranked by as the # 1 "hot new release" in web marketing in early 2012. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook
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74 Responses to Romney Unicorn Update: Arizona official backs down & apologizes to state

  1. Katherine Derby Kruska says:

    YEAH! It is about time the birthers cut out the crap! Don’t they think Congress, and others in Washington would have firgured this out without there help! Duh!

  2. Pearl says:

    This is so awesome! [glittery confetti fluttering down] I’m proud my name’s on that petition list!

  3. Love (not) Bennett’s non-apology.

    • John Neubauer says:

      Bennett doesn’t appear to be “Mr. Sincere.”

      • John Hlinko says:

        Yeah, I think the fact that he claimed it wasn’t partisan (even though he’s the Romney state co-chair), but he had to investigate because 1,200 emails came in, but… well, he hasn’t investigated ours = doesn’t sound very sincere to me.

  4. MArcus Darnley says:

    Who is the “Roberts” referred to in Hlinko’s article?

  5. Ada Ross says:

    This was awesome!!! I laughed so hard reading this article!!! My name was also on that petition…”Romney may not be an unicorn….” But there’s something weird about this guy…Just saying…He gives me the creeps!!

    • Vernette Griffee says:

      You’re Right! “Romney may not be a unicorn…” But I bet you any $$$$$ he’s got a “Tail” for sure!

  6. Uyen Heldt says:

    One for the Good Guys! I will miss the hilarious emails tormenting Bennett though.

  7. Margaret says:

    What an idiot I can’t believe morons are running the State!

    • Ada Ross says:

      …And they think the rest of us will sit idle while they try to spread their lunacy through the rest of THIS GREAT NATION! NOT!!! OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    • Mayme says:

      They are running several states! Morons, that is.

      • Lydia says:

        Yup, including Arizona, my retirement state, and to know that Bennett is even from our community, yikes, BUT that’s why the rest of us are here, to give counterweight and even win a few here and there, and certainly let our voices heard. Don’t forget to speak up where it matters!

    • Vernette Griffee says:

      “Arizo-Natizies”! I what they are!

  8. azrm says:

    I signed this petition and I support President Obama. I am also a registered Democrat. I have ALWAYS supported gay rights, for over 30 years. I am also a mother and a grandmother. Should I be ashamed of that? I find the repeated use of the word “birther” to be alienating and a little offensive. Are you all gay? Do you not want our support? Why are you separating us, when we have the same goals? And if you are not gay, and just using the “birther” buzz word, cut out the crap, we’re all on the same side here! You make more points for the other side by talking like that!!

    • John Hlinko says:

      I think maybe you’re thinking of the term “breeder?” The term “birther” refers in this case to people promoting the conspiracy theory that President Obama was not born in America, in spite of overwhelming evidence. Nothing to do with gay vs straight.

    • John Hlinko says:

      P.S. – I updated it to explain the term, realizing not everyone will know it

  9. Mayme says:

    Well, I still think Romney is a unicorn and you can’t convince me otherwise.

  10. Joy Crandall says:

    I also agree that Romney is so in love with his wish to be important and wants the President’s job so bad he will say anything to get it. All he would be to the Republican Party would be someone without any brains but would sign anything that they put in front of him. Very sad and scarey for this country. He does not know what it feels like to be middle class. A very spoiled brat with his many houses and cars and elevator for his cars and way too much money. Greed is his name.
    We need to be rid of him.

    • Chris says:

      I agree about his over riding need to be in power; he’ll say, do anything to gain what he wants. Really scary

  11. Kim says:

    OMG…what are you doing, borrowing tactics from the GOP handbook? I signed this petition…to make a point…but the official “backed down” because Hawaii caved and provided a copy of the birth certificate. How dare you try to claim credit?? You have lost all credibility in my eyes. SO disappointed.

    • Hmm… not reading it that way. From reading the stories, it looks to me like he was made a total laughingstock, and Hawaii basically just sent an email — what they offered at the beginning. I seriously doubt if Bennett considers this a victory.

  12. Michelle says:

    I loved..loved..loved signing my name to this petition. It was no more ridiculous than Arizona officials claim that Obama is not a citizen. Sort of sad they backed down…I really wanted to see the results of their investigation at the expense of Arizona taxpayers.
    Personally…I wanted to know if he was hiding a tail in those finely tailored britches of his…the world may never know. : }

  13. Doraetta says:

    Actually Romney could not be a Unicorn. They are cute or an least the
    Pictures of them are.I would say a horses behind,but that’s insulting a horses behind. But I am happy that my name is on that petition to.

  14. winsome says:

    these people need to stop,,we are not stupid. democrats are the most inteligent of all.

  15. Paulhaider74 says:

    I thought that although Romney is not a unicorn, he will ride on a unicorn to arrive at the Mormons’ home planet of Kolob. Isn’t it best to use a fictional animal for travel to a fictional planet? The scary part is that Joseph Smith, the messiah of the Mormons, was not a fictional character; it would be more comforting to know that Romney worships a fictional character (e.g. the one who is worshipped by Christians) than the real criminal, false prophet, charlatan, fraud, and polygamist who was the founder of Mormonism.
    Paul Haider, Chicago

  16. Tina Kiel says:

    So happy to have been part of this petition! It felt wonderful to show Bennett just how absurd and idiotic his quest was to re-hash the birther issue. Kudos to John Hlinko for coming up with this one! Does anyone know if Romney got wind of this and if he made a comment?

  17. I wrote on another site that the clown in Arizona should show his own birth certificate.

  18. your all fuckin obama tools!

    • SF Johnny says:

      Hah hah. What a clown. Tries to dis us, and misspells the first word. Moron.

    • Mekhong Kurt says:

      Mr. Demawrest, are you putting ignorant birther troll comments for free, or are you getting paid by someone such as Trump the Chump or the Kochroach Brothers?

      • Paulhaider74 says:

        I still think that John McCain should change his surname to “McPain” in honor of the beating that he took at the expense of a black man; I had never previously witnessed a rich, old white man get his ass beaten so badly by a black or bi-racial man in the history of our country since…ever! Regarding Mitwitt “Mr. 1% Multi-Millionaire Mormon” Romney’s campaign, it would be nice if Obama could do to him what Clinton did to Dole in 1996, but Mitt has a lot more money and financial support from Donald “Rich Chump” Trump, the Koch-head brothers, Wall Street bankers/white-collar criminals, Joe “Old Bones of” Ricketts, and every American who remains ignorant by reading the Libel, uh, Bible instead of What’s the Matter With Kansas? (2004) by Thomas Frank. The difference in these two books is that one is a 2,000-year-old science-fiction book that was written by multiple male authors (none of whom were eyewitnesses to any of its alleged “events”) and the other is a non-fiction book that was written by one author in this century; it’s a shame when Americans unknowingly vote against their economic self-interests.
        Paul Haider, Chicago

    • cody says:

      And you’re a bitter right-wing jerk LOLS XD

      • Paulhaider74 says:

        Pete Demarest, you made both a grammatical and a spelling error in your comment; it was “you’re” instead of “your” that you meant to write, and you forgot to add either the “g” or the apostrophe at the end of the expletive. However, this is exactly the type of stupidity that I expect from the uneducated and ignorant Repugnantcans who have been unknowingly voting against their economic self-interest since the 1980 election. Pete, if you are able to read and capable of being literate, please purchase a copy of Thomas Frank’s book What’s the Matter With Kansas? (2004). For the record, there was never a bigger tool in politics than Dickhead Cheney, who was calling the shots in the White House for eight painful years; it is only fitting that his name is “Dick.”
        Paul Haider, Chicago

  19. fdhbstephanie says:

    Bwahahahah! Love this – can you take this up with the Iowa GOP since the birther issue is part of their platform now?

  20. Montana says:

    Sheriff Joe Arpaio (the least shortman in AZ) and Ken Bennett should either put up or shut-up (or is he Alfalfa from the Little Rascals).

    Its It is not incumbent upon you, the Birthers/Teabaggers to produce the facts that you believe, but can’t prove!

    Lets be clear none of these Birther dullards have taken there “Birther Documents of facts, more like lies” and won a case in the “U.S. Courts”, maybe in their simple minds (if they have any) but not in our “U.S. Courts”, so unless Birthers/ Teabaggers, whatever you want to be called, win a court case, we will continue to see as dullards, liars or racist or maybe all three. Deal with that baby!

    And enjoy voting for the Mitt, the first “Republican Anchor Baby”! Too Funny

  21. FrankHenry says:

    The core fact that the so-called “birther(s)” need to focus on is to read the very statement that
    Senator Obama and his co-Senators wrote about John McCain. They wrote that John was
    qualified to run for president because both of John’s parents were US citizens at the time of
    Johns birth, hence John is a “natural born citizen”. Place of birth may be of import…but
    parentage is the core fact the birthers should be looking for.

    The commentor(s) are right to ask if Mitt and some of his potential V-Ps could pass the “natural
    born citizen” test.

    The mentioned US Court cases by Montana is on the mark…only a few cases might still be
    winding there way in the courts. But, it seems NONE of the US Courts have ruled on the
    core question…they have been dismissed due to standing and/or technical/judicial questions.

  22. Paulhaider74 says:

    The fact that John McPain was born on a military base in Panama was never raised during the same time that Obama’s citizenship was questioned. It is unfortunate that Obama’s grandmother died in the days before he was elected president in 2008; Mrs. Dunham could have veried that her grandson was born in the same state where her daughter gave birth to him. Of course, it does not help that Obama’s mother, Dr. Ann Dunham, has been dead since November of 1995. The racism of the birthers was intended to be implicit, but it has become as explicit as the racism of the Tea Party, who claim that their main issue is government spending (a problem that did not appear to bother them when Bush and Cheney were in the White House for eight years).
    Paul Haider, Chicago

    • Pearl says:

      Never before in the history of American elections has the issue of a birth certificate been an issue. Neither have so many disrespected our President by calling him Mr. Obama. It’s deplorable.

      • FrankHenry says:

        Pearl,…Nowheres in this post is the phrase “Mr Obama” being used. But, in other posts
        and court case documents the “Mr Obama” is used and was used with respect…and if
        there was disrespect, the sitting judge would flag and stop the disrespect.

        As for the history of elections; the challenge of presidential candidate’s citizenship has
        occured. And will occur in the future. This is a constitutional driven situation.

      • Pearl says:

        I wasn’t replying to you FrankHenry I replied in the wrong box. My comment concerning people being disrespectful about calling President Obama “Mr. Obama” wasn’t in reference to your post or court proceedings. It’s perpetuated by Clear Channel’s Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, FOX News, etc. This is unprecedented and deplorable. I cringe ever time I hear it.

        As far as the birth certificate goes I’m well aware you have to be born in the US to run for president. Could you please list here the prior US presidential candidate nominees besides President Obama that citizenship was contested? I’ve done a lot of research on this and have come up dry. Thank you.

      • FrankHenry says:

        Yes, there is at least one….John McCain was tested by Senator Obama and co-Senators…and the
        Senators declared John is a “natural born citizen” because both his parents were US citizens at
        the time of John’s birth.

      • Pearl says:

        President Obama NEVER contested John McCain’s citizenship. Where did you get that? Please post a link.

      • Pearl says:

        From what I’ve been researching now for 6 years and left out i the post above is that President Obama in fact is the first and only US presidential candidate in history ever to provide to the public his actual official state certified birth certificate that proves his natural born citizenship.

      • Paulhaider74 says:

        There was a time in our nation’s history when groups such as the Tea Party and the Birthers were simply known as “the Klan.” These hate groups owe a debt of gratitude to the both Repugnantcan Party and the Faux News Channel for giving them a more socially acceptable voice that is implicitly (not explicitly) racist. I’m sure that our nation’s greatest Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, would spin in his grave after learning what his party has become.
        Paul Haider, Chicago

      • Ada Ross says:

        I second that!!

      • Pearl says:

        I concur Paul. They’re still the Klan. Same product different branding.

      • FrankHenry says:

        The tea party, the birthers, the republicans, the democrats,…,etc are not hate
        groups. They are folks who agree with one or more idea(s). Yes, they do get
        passionate and heated when presenting/supporting their candidates and/or
        want-to be laws. This is the work-in-process/progress nature of our politics
        under and with-in the framework of our constitutions…keep up the good work.

    • Mekhong Kurt says:

      Mr. Haider, the question regarding McCain’s eligibility actually did arise at roughly the same time, but never got any traction, and rightly so. In fact, two Senators introduced a non-binding Senate Resolution stating that McCain is, in fact, a U.S citizen eligible to be President.

      The rich irony of the resolution is its sponsors: then-Senator Hillary Clinton and . . . Ten-Senator Barack Obama.

  23. Nah, don’t tell anybody, but if he were a REAL unicorn, he would only allow real virgins to pet him.

  24. FrankHenry says:

    Pearl, as for a link to the Senate resolution…you need to do your own research and homework…
    you can hear what others say but search the (I believe) the US Senate records of 2008.

    Other comments on this post indicate that Sen Clinton and Sen Obama were sponsors of the
    Senate Resolution, testing John McCains’s “natural born citizen” status,…but, there were many
    other senators who sponsored or co-sponsored the resolution.

    • Mekhong Kurt says:

      FrankHenry, the Senate’s website is as maddeningly difficult to use, at least sometimes, that after a few minutes, I went with another source (one I’ve found reliable in the past) that had the full text of the (non-binding, and therefore toothless) resolution. The key sentence is at the end:

      “Resolved, That John Sidney McCain, III, is a `natural born Citizen’ under Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United States.”

      Source: (has full text)

      You’re correct that another four Senators were among the original sponsors, in addition to then-Senator Clinton and then-Senator Obama: “Mrs. MCCASKILL (for herself, Mr. LEAHY, Mr. OBAMA, Mr. COBURN, Mrs. CLINTON, and Mr. WEBB) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.”

      The Senate Resolution is “SR511,” introduced April 10, 2008 and passed April 30, 2008.

      The point remains that not only did Clinton and Obama co-sponsor the resolute despite being across the aisle but that they did so when they were competing themselves to win the Democratic nomination to oppose senator McCain even while they co-sponsored it.

      They (and the other co-sponsors) showed admirable dignity, courage, and dignity — just as Senator McCain himself was later to do on the campaign trail when Obama had secured the nomination: McCain defended Obama on more than one occasion against accusations. And for those defenses, McCain deserves full credit — just as Clinton and Obama do for co-sponsoring the Senate Resolution.

  25. FrankHenry says:

    Non-binding …but…not non-factual.

    Kurt…you are right “…the Senate’s website is as maddeningly difficult to use…” the key thought is
    that the congress (house and senate) are not citizen friendly. Unfortunately the constitution gives
    congess the power to act the way they do.

    And you are right that S Res 511 is treated as “non-binding”. But it does state a constitutional fact.
    That is to be president or vice-president you must be a “natural born citizen” meaning that you
    must be born of parents who are both US citizen.

  26. Pingback: » Is Mitt Romney a Unicorn? Let’s See His Long From Birth Certificate The Last Dog Watch

  27. rodger chung says:

    Now ken bennett , donald (duck) trump and the rest of the racist birther idiots see how ridiculous their debunked theories are. America deserves better than the republicans can offer.

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